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Dr. Robert Haak tapped by an Ohio college

December  15, 2011

Dr. Robert Haak

Dr. Robert Haak, director of the Community Engagement Center (CEC) and an associate dean at Augustana College, has accepted a new position as vice president and dean of the college at Hiram College, a small liberal arts college in Ohio. Tapped for his record of proven leadership, Dr. Haak will begin at Hiram on Feb 1, 2012.

“Hiram College has a great history of leadership and innovation in higher education, and the college is poised to continue that,” said Dr. Haak. “I’m excited to take this position and have the opportunity to help continue Hiram’s distinctive approach to the liberal arts.”

Dr. Haak joined Augustana in September 1983 as an instructor in religion, earning promotions in 1990 and 1994 when he was named assistant professor and then associate professor of religion. In 2005, Dr. Haak was named director of the Center for Vocational Reflection. In early 2011, the Community Engagement Center at Augustana College opened under his leadership, and Dr. Haak has served as the center’s director.

“Augustana is saddened to lose Bob, given his distinguished record and his leadership in creating our Community Engagement Center—a signature feature of the college,” said President of the College Steve Bahls, who recognizes this move as both an accomplishment for Dr. Haak and a compliment to Augustana as an innovator in educational leadership.

“We are happy that Bob has this opportunity, and we know he will benefit Hiram College in the same impressive way he benefited Augustana College,” Bahls said.

Dean and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Pareena Lawrence said, “Bob has selflessly served Augustana, and he has been fundamental in establishing the CEC as we know it today.” Describing Dr. Haak as a big-picture thinker, she added, “Bob has a passion for higher education. He is ideally suited for his new position.”

As he reflected on his 29 years at Augustana, Dr. Haak said he’s especially proud of his work to “integrate vocational thought into all aspects of the college.” He added, “Augustana has created me. I will carry my Augustana experience with me as long as I live.”

A resident of Viola, Dr. Haak earned a bachelor’s from Concordia University, Seward, Neb. He holds a master’s and a doctorate from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu